Need some opinions

So a very famous knitting teacher (Cat Bordhi) is coming to my area. I want to attend a class and she will be teaching 3. She will be at a yarn shop that is not my favorite, but I go there when I need something I can't get elsewhere. My wife and I have been fair customers (we live 1.5 hours away so we can't go weekly). I was contacted by the owner about signing up for a class and I told her which one I wanted to take. She told me that one was full (this conversation happened over a week ago). I told her I would probably sign up for another class instead. Since we had this conversation she has posted on Ravelry about class openings (in the class I wish to take) and sent out an email stating there are opening in all 3 classes. I sent an forum post to reply to the class openings on Ravelry about still wanting a spot if one came available. She said she would put me on the waiting list. After this posting is when she sent out the email about openings in all classes. (Confused, yeah so am I). Then I got a personal message through Ravelry saying that she wished she had known earlier that I wanted to take the class. She offered spots to her "current customers" and said she had not seen me in a year. Well I was actually in her store near the end of the summer, told her I was coming in advance, and she totally ignored my wife and I while we were there (for more than 30 minutes probably why she doesn't remember that I have been in more recently than a year). We did not spend very much money that day due to being ignored. I have made shop models for this owner, posted positively on shop sites, and spent a large amount of money here when I have needed yarn that only she carried. This is not the first poor experience I have had at her shop.

I really want to take a class with Cat, but I am really tired of dealing with this LYS owner. Please tell me what you think.


Bill's picture

I would confront the owner by email or by phone, (with an email copy to Cat on ravelry)
...either there IS space in the class or ...there isn't.
If you really want to take a class with Cat, then try for it...but otherwise I wouldn't support that shop, and I'd let her know why.
I'm quite sure you can get the yarns you want by mail order ...

smalltownknitguy's picture

Thanks Bill. I am considering the confrontation. Just don't want the tension during the class time if I decide to go. I am considering taking a class and then severing ties with this shop. It is not worth the hassle.

Bill's picture

...the bottom line is how much do you care about a class with Cat ...which you might be able to take somewhere else at another time...
I sincerely doubt that Cat will allow you to be mistreated during her class....

KnitteryNinja's picture

Cat is a great teacher. We had her at our shop two years ago and she taught three workshops--Magical Moebius, Personal Footprints, and New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I would call the shop today, say you saw the email that said there were openings in the class you want, and that you want to sign up. If she says it's full, then forget it. And forget her shop...

albert's picture


Take her a sack of moths and let them loose in her store.

Kerry's picture

Can understand why you don't frequent this shop more!

CLABBERS's picture

Rusty, I really like Bill's advice. Public opinions, especially on owners' blogs can be very telling. Be careful, however, because there are new laws being written and tested that govern "free" speech in blogs. There have been some recent cases that involved absolutely valid and accurate statements of fact in blogs, yet judges felt that the public venting was considered defamatory and thereby subject to fine or arrest. I have done my fair share of venting on the Internet, most recently with KnitPicks yarn that resulted in a very nice refund of all the money I spent on 15 skeins of yarn. I don't think I would have been so free with my words if I knew about the new cases being tested. I would be more apt to address it with her one-on-one, verbally over the phone...once you attend the class, if you can get in. You can always get pissed and hang up on her, but putting your words out there in public can turn into a truly ugly legal beast. I hope it works out for you. Cat is a wonderful person and an industry standard.

Good luck, Rusty.


smalltownknitguy's picture

Thanks for all the advice. Since writing the original post, things have escalated (on the other end) and now I am not sure what to do. I will be confronting her accusations in an email this evening. I will keep you all posted. Once again thanks for all the advice and chuckles.

Bill's picture

Please keep us posted, Rusty...we could ALL write to Cat to tell her you wern't allowed in her class!

raydio's picture


I've sent you a personal response that's more of what I would do about the whole situation than about getting into the class.

If it was me, I couldn't attend the class and enjoy it if I had confronted the shop owner beforehand and we didn't end it with good feelings all around. Actually, I really don't think I could even attend at all. I know that if I did go, I would be dreading seeing the shop owner if there were still "bad" feelings, and I think that if one is confronting her about the mixed messages she has been putting out, I don't think she will be in a truly good space about it. ;-) If I didn't have to see her, I could go and have a good time, even if things were still uncomfortable between the SO and me.

I take it you've dismissed begging outright as a solution?

I see two issues here: One is your first goal: getting into Cat's class, and the other is dealing with how you've been treated regarding certain, er, "consistencies" about the availability of spots in the class.

If it was me and if the first didn't happen, I would hope I did something about the second. I would feel I had to stand up for what's right, and I hope I would speak. I did do that many years ago with a knitting SO. I sent a letter expressing my disappointment in how a contest was handled and it wasn't an "ugly" letter, either. I never heard back and I never went back to that shop. It really wasn't all that good, anyway, so it wasn't much of a loss.

Good luck.

smalltownknitguy's picture

Update on an ugly situation:

I went to my favorite yarn shop this weekend for a Christmas party. (At this shop they don't blacklist me for how often I come in or how much money I spend.) I found out that one of my really good knitting/spinning friends teaches one Cat Bordhi technique (Personal Footprints) and met a new friend who teaches Sweet Tomato Heel. So as bad as I want to meet Cat, I can take two classes at a place which is welcoming and friendly.

I have sent the other shop owner an email which hopefully makes me the "better knitter" apologizing for the breakdown in communication. I had written a long email calling her out on what she had said and done/not done. My father-in-law also said she is living in an " alternate reality" and no matter what I said would change her as you also stated. She is holding me a spot for me in a class, but the classes are on Maryland Sheep and Wool weekend and I am going to back out after the first of the year with that reason (that is when I can pay for my class).

scottly's picture

Gosh, so much drama. It hardly seems worth it - take the class another, place another time and preserve your serenity.